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Just for kicks - A couple of unusual piano stories #2925255 12/20/19 10:22 PM
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GC13 Offline OP
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I know how we all enjoy piano stories here on PW, and I heard a couple of them today that in my opinion are quite unusual. I thought I'd share them for your enjoyment. wink

I was in the area of our local Steinway dealer today, and I know the staff there, so I dropped in to just see what was on the floor and chat a bit. While we were talking, the store manager shared a couple of unusual situations where they have pianos on the floor that were actually sold quite a while back. The owners have not taken delivery.

The 1st is a Steinway D Spirio R Concert Grand. The piano was purchased at Steinway Hall in NYC not long after Steinway started selling the Spirio R to the public. I believe it was one of the 1st D Spirio R's ordered after they were announced. As the process goes, they are sent to the local dealer for setup and prep before being delivered to the new owner. This is a private individual who purchase the piano for their home to replace the Steinway D they already own (which isn't that old). The piano has been setting on the floor for over 6 months. I was in the store back then just after it arrived at the dealership, and I was allowed to play and record on it (on the QT as the owner has requested that no one be allowed to play it). But the owner still has not scheduled delivery. It's just setting there in the showroom. The manager says they don't mind, b/c they have actually sold several other D Spirio R's as a result.

The 2nd piano is a used late model Steinway S that was sold to a gentleman over 2 years ago as a gift to his mother. The manager was told to hold it while they did some work on his mother's condo. That was over 2 years ago, and the owner still has not requested delivery. I had noticed that there was always a Steinway S with a "SOLD" ribbon on it in the store. I just didn't know I was looking at the same piano for the past 2 years. The dealership has not been able to contact the purchaser or his mother. That's rather strange. I told him that they could deliver the pianos to my house to get them out of their way! grin thumb

I just can't imagine purchasing a piano and letting it just set at the dealership without taking delivery!

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Re: Just for kicks - A couple of unusual piano stories [Re: GC13] #2925269 12/21/19 12:04 AM
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I was considering borrowing to buy a concert grand and putting it in storage. Sometimes there are ridiculous bargains (such as a Blüthner concert grand in the UK for £2,000). However, I can't see myself having the space for one. To within a centimetre, I have the biggest piano it's possible to fit into my place already.

Maybe the owner of the D is looking for someone to buy his current one. If he gets desperate enough, it could be a bargain...

I wonder if the S was bought by someone who didn't consult the intended recipient. If I had kids, there's be no consulting necessary. I would want them to buy me the piano. They'd know I could throw out my bed to make space...

Last edited by johnstaf; 12/21/19 12:08 AM.
Re: Just for kicks - A couple of unusual piano stories [Re: GC13] #2925370 12/21/19 11:32 AM
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Both stories do seem rather odd.



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Re: Just for kicks - A couple of unusual piano stories [Re: GC13] #2925386 12/21/19 11:54 AM
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Odd things happens sometimes, especially when it comes to a piano that is loved.

I have a few grand pianos that have been in long term storage for years. They are beautiful, but in these cases the family cannot part with them, they do not want to part with them, and they intend to have them again sometime soon, but currently they just don't fit into their present living situations.


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Re: Just for kicks - A couple of unusual piano stories [Re: GC13] #2925488 12/21/19 03:45 PM
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There was the odd story of where a number of pianos were discovered
in a Vancouver storage facility. Quite few pianos , some really high end brands
,others not .There were grands mainly, but also uprights, others
precious heirlooms and loved .
Later a few owners were traced. One woman had her Yamaha grand in
storage ,which was gone ,there were others as well ?
I do not know the details of what happened. ,but for a while .,this was
a real mystery ? Is it still a mystery or has the police solved this crime ?

Last edited by Lady Bird; 12/21/19 03:47 PM. Reason: Missing word
Re: Just for kicks - A couple of unusual piano stories [Re: Rich Galassini] #2925496 12/21/19 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Rich Galassini
Odd things happens sometimes, especially when it comes to a piano that is loved.

I have a few grand pianos that have been in long term storage for years. They are beautiful, but in these cases the family cannot part with them, they do not want to part with them, and they intend to have them again sometime soon, but currently they just don't fit into their present living situations.


Hi Rich - How are pianos stored long term?


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Re: Just for kicks - A couple of unusual piano stories [Re: GC13] #2925626 12/22/19 03:41 AM
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Probably safe to consider that someone is either laundering cash or buying a piano that they intend to write off in their taxes in some way. It'll probably never be played, whether delivered or not. I've worked for a couple of really wealthy folks who all had several large Steinway grands in their homes (one had 3 in a single room), none of which were ever played (except by me!). I can't tell you what basis they are using to write them off, but it was pretty obviously some kind of financial shenanigan. Or perhaps they are just assets that don't depreciate much when purchased used (or that's what some advisor told them)?

Re: Just for kicks - A couple of unusual piano stories [Re: GC13] #2928516 12/31/19 12:45 AM
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If this is a cakewalk to decide which story is the most odd [I mean, all are odd], I believe ideasculptor takes the cake. Three in a single room, in a private residence? It seems like some kind of wild hallucination proceeding from a recent psychotic break. Just off the top.

The most sane-sounding was Rich's, and the line that seemed the most sane and sensible to me, was, "I have a few grand pianos that have been in long term storage for years." I believe that indicates a revenue stream coming from each piano, and I would bet money that Rich has a contract for each which indicates what continuing maintenance care the owner desires.


Clef

Re: Just for kicks - A couple of unusual piano stories [Re: Lady Bird] #2928542 12/31/19 02:29 AM
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Lady Bird Offline
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Originally Posted by Lady Bird
There was the odd story of where a number of pianos were discovered
in a Vancouver storage facility. Quite few pianos , some really high end brands
,others not .There were grands mainly, but also uprights, others
precious heirlooms and loved .
Later a few owners were traced. One woman had her Yamaha grand in
storage ,which was gone ,there were others as well ?
I do not know the details of what happened. ,but for a while .,this was
a real mystery ? Is it still a mystery or has the police solved this crime ?

Jeff Clef ,
This actually happened ! Some of these people never recovered their pianos
including the young woman whose piano was bought for her by her beloved
parents !
I wish could remember some of the details of the weird twists in the story.
An odd thing happened about a week before this strange story surfaced
onine . I saw an advert from someone selling whole disjointed
collection of European ,Steinway and Japanese used pianos at what was
said to be very low prices ???
Later I searched for the advert but to no avail? Connected or not ?

Re: Just for kicks - A couple of unusual piano stories [Re: Jeff Clef] #2928783 12/31/19 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Clef
If this is a cakewalk to decide which story is the most odd [I mean, all are odd], I believe ideasculptor takes the cake. Three in a single room, in a private residence? It seems like some kind of wild hallucination proceeding from a recent psychotic break. Just off the top.


Three in a single room in a private residence that was a hilltop mansion that didn't even have anybody living in it. The owners were allowing a nascent startup that I was a part of to use it as our office. But that wasn't the only time I've encountered wealthy people with a plethora of unplayed Steinways. 10 years later, in an entirely different city, I encountered something remarkably similar, though at least the pianos were in different rooms.

Re: Just for kicks - A couple of unusual piano stories [Re: GC13] #2928786 12/31/19 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by GC13
I was allowed to play and record on it (on the QT as the owner has requested that no one be allowed to play it).

This bothers me.



And still I dream she'll come to me
That we will live the years together
But there are dreams that cannot be
And there are storms we cannot weather
Re: Just for kicks - A couple of unusual piano stories [Re: Lady Bird] #2928788 12/31/19 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Lady Bird
Originally Posted by Lady Bird
There was the odd story of where a number of pianos were discovered
in a Vancouver storage facility. Quite few pianos , some really high end brands
,others not .There were grands mainly, but also uprights, others
precious heirlooms and loved .
Later a few owners were traced. One woman had her Yamaha grand in
storage ,which was gone ,there were others as well ?
I do not know the details of what happened. ,but for a while .,this was
a real mystery ? Is it still a mystery or has the police solved this crime ?

Jeff Clef ,
This actually happened ! Some of these people never recovered their pianos
including the young woman whose piano was bought for her by her beloved
parents !
I wish could remember some of the details of the weird twists in the story.
An odd thing happened about a week before this strange story surfaced
onine . I saw an advert from someone selling whole disjointed
collection of European ,Steinway and Japanese used pianos at what was
said to be very low prices ???
Later I searched for the advert but to no avail? Connected or not ?


I remember a story about a bunch of missing pianos turning up in a storage unit in BC.



And still I dream she'll come to me
That we will live the years together
But there are dreams that cannot be
And there are storms we cannot weather
Re: Just for kicks - A couple of unusual piano stories [Re: GC13] #2928805 12/31/19 05:26 PM
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Lady Bird Offline
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Yes ,some were recovered ,but I think there were some
which were never recovered ?

Re: Just for kicks - A couple of unusual piano stories [Re: GC13] #2928868 01/01/20 03:52 AM
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Kind of a morbid thought but is it possible the man bought it for his mother and then they both passed away? Their estate wouldn’t necessarily be aware of the undelivered piano.


Now learning: Chopin C# minor Nocturne (posth) and C minor Prelude (big chords), Mozart Sonata in C K. 545
Instruments: Yamaha N1X, Kawai ES110, Roland GO:PIANO
Re: Just for kicks - A couple of unusual piano stories [Re: Chrispy] #2928941 01/01/20 11:08 AM
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Carey Offline
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Originally Posted by Chrispy
Kind of a morbid thought but is it possible the man bought it for his mother and then they both passed away? Their estate wouldn’t necessarily be aware of the undelivered piano.
That was my initial thought as well. Or perhaps the man passed away before telling his mother about the gift. Either way, it seems strange that the dealer has been unable to contact either party - particularly in this day and age. Gotta wonder how hard they've been trying.


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Re: Just for kicks - A couple of unusual piano stories [Re: GC13] #2928949 01/01/20 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by GC13
The piano has been setting on the floor for over 6 months. I was in the store back then just after it arrived at the dealership, and I was allowed to play and record on it (on the QT as the owner has requested that no one be allowed to play it).
Great that you had the opportunity to play and record on the piano, but allowing you to do so seems a tad disingenuous on the dealer's part. However, I'm sure this type of thing happens all the time.
Quote
But the owner still has not scheduled delivery. It's just setting there in the showroom.
Must be nice to have that kind of disposable income. ha Perhaps the buyer is having trouble unloading their current "older" D.

Again, it seems that the dealer could be a bit more aggressive about contacting the buyer.

Last edited by Carey; 01/01/20 11:25 AM.

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Re: Just for kicks - A couple of unusual piano stories [Re: GC13] #2929011 01/01/20 01:16 PM
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Lady Bird Offline
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It was a few days after Christmas a few years back .We
had quite a lot of snow ,and a few storms .We being on
vacation and not having much to do visited a fairly large
piano dealer.
All the pianos were completely out of tune ! (atonal.!!!.)
The manager told us there had been a power outage !
Yes but how could ALL the pianos be completely out ???
The poor man looked so stressed we did not press the
question ! I went around the room playing a chord on an
odd mixture of grands and uprights.(.all out )
At the door we were met by the arrival of a pair of flustered
looking tuners.

Re: Just for kicks - A couple of unusual piano stories [Re: GC13] #2929060 01/01/20 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Lady Bird
It was a few days after Christmas a few years back .We
had quite a lot of snow ,and a few storms .We being on
vacation and not having much to do visited a fairly large
piano dealer.
All the pianos were completely out of tune ! (atonal.!!!.)
The manager told us there had been a power outage !
Yes but how could ALL the pianos be completely out ???
The poor man looked so stressed we did not press the
question ! I went around the room playing a chord on an
odd mixture of grands and uprights.(.all out )
At the door we were met by the arrival of a pair of flustered

I've visited a few pianos stores whose pianos were unpleasantly out of tune as well, Lady Bird.

I've also learned that if you call and let the piano dealer know ahead of time you are coming to look at a certain piano, they will have it tuned and ready, usually, but not always.

I also visited a piano store once and there was this young man, probably in his teens, maybe early 20s, tuning on an upright piano. I walked over and watched him, and talked to him a bit, and he said he was learning to tune pianos. He said his dad owned the store. That's a good combo, I suppose. smile

In terms of various, or unusual piano stories, I've had a few myself. I've written about several of them here on PW over the years. Something that I may not have written about is the people/individuals I have encountered, along with the piano adventures. Some really good experiences and some not so good experiences, but good people skills building experiences anyway.

I called about a used grand piano I saw on Craigslist once, and was interested enough that I wanted to find out more info, and actually schedule a time to look at the piano. First, I called the guy on my cell phone, and he asked me if I was calling from a cell phone; I said yes. He asked me if I had a home phone/landline, and I said yes. He said he wanted me to call him back on the landline to make sure I was not a scammer and had a verifiable home address. Sounded really weird to me, but I complied and called him on my home phone, but he never asked me for my home address.

Next, I asked if I could schedule a time to come and look at the piano. He asked me if I was serious about buying the piano he had for sale. I told him yes, I was serious, but would have to look at it in person before I made any commitment to buy it. Next, he asked me if I had the money in the bank to buy the piano, without having to sell my current piano first. I was beginning to feel really uneasy about talking to this guy, but his ad seemed legit. So, I told him, yes, I had the money in my bank account to buy his piano, if I like it after I looked at it and played it.

Next, he said he would not allow someone he did not know to come into his home unless I could prove I was who I said I was. By that time, I had had enough, and am usually a very polite and friendly person. I told the guy that I was no longer interested in his piano at any price, and wished him luck selling it.

So, yes, I have come across some weirdos, and a few scammers. I know the guy was not a scammer, because I talked to another piano dealer who knew the guy, and was familiar with the piano he was selling. Not sure who is worse to interact with, the weirdos or the scammers. The scammers are pretty predictable. The weirdos are not.

But, again, it was a good "piano people" lesson, for better or worse. smile

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Just for kicks - A couple of unusual piano stories [Re: GC13] #2929076 01/01/20 04:37 PM
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Lady Bird Offline
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Perhaps the piano selling weirdo was traumatised once by a criminal
on Craigslist trying to steal something from him ? Some weirdos are
harmless others are not ,and behave normally arriving in a nice suit
and having nice white teeth --- beware !

Re: Just for kicks - A couple of unusual piano stories [Re: GC13] #2929081 01/01/20 04:52 PM
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Lady Bird Offline
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Rick
I agree you do get some dealers of pianos out of tune in dealers ,but it is usually
not too bad and not Every single piano? Not just out , but completely
atonal !
At least that has been my experience.

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